Soup for a Cold Winter Night: French Potato Leek Soup
January 27, 2007 8:14pm CST
Soup for a Cold Winter Night: French Potato Leek Soup (c) Dorine Houston, 2007 During the past few days, it has been colder in Philadelphia than any day in the past two years. Temperatures have stayed in the low 20s F, or about 10 degrees below freezing. Snow expected here two nights ago veered to the south, and ended up up covering the Atlantic City boardwalk but leaving downtown Philadelphia mostly dry. Flurries may be expected tonight. Despite the chill, many of my neighbors have been lining our sidewalk for hours. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall plan to hear the Philadelphia Orchestra play the celebration concert for the 150th anniversary of the Academy of Music, right next door to our apartment building, and then dance at the ball celebrating the occasion. Standing outside in such weather makes it a night for the warm comfort of soup after coming in from royal-watching. It needs to be soup made from fresh ingredients, of course, not the second-rate stuff from a can, but royal-watching interferes with being home for hours of caring for a simmering pot. French potato leek soup is just the ticket. If you have little experience working with leeks, you may be interested in a few pointers. Leeks grow in sandy soil, and some of it gets caught between the leaves while they grow. To clean the leeks, trim off the root end and cut away some of the most tired-looking outside leaves and any parts from the top that look tough, but retain as much of the green part as possible (the green color indicates the presence of more vitamins). Cut the leek in half lengthwise and rinse it well in cool water. Since some of the sand and soil sticks, you may have to work on it with a vegetable brush. Lay it on a towel to dry and then use it according to recipe directions. French Potato Leek Soup 30ml/2 T. unsalted butter 3 leeks, white part and as much of the green as possible, well cleaned and thinly sliced 2.5ml/well cleaned and thinly sliced A few gratings nutmeg 3 red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, diced 225ml/1 cup chicken broth 450ml/2 cups whole milk 225ml/1 cup heavy (whipping, double) cream Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste Garnishes: chopped fresh chives or paprika Melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the leeks. Cook over medium flame, stirring, until the leeks are tender and beginning to brown. Stir in thyme and nutmeg. Add potatoes and chicken broth. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. If you want a smooth, creamy soup instead of a chunky one, you can puree the mixture in the food processor at this point. This is lovely, but the soup is usually enjoyed chunky in France. Stir in milk and cook, stirring, until the milk begins to bubble around the edges. Stir in cream and heat for just a minute or two, then remove from heat. Taste and add salt and pepper. Serve in a soup tureen garnished with chopped fresh chives or a sprinkling ofsweet Hungarian paprika. To make it a complete meal, serve the French potato leek soup as the first course. For the main course, serve fresh grilled (broiled) red snapper accompanied by sliced fennel and carrots sauteed in butter with a bit of minced fresh gingerroot and some steamed green peas. For dessert, offer fresh pears, Marie digestive biscuits (cookies) and blue cheese. Follow that with a strong cup of expreso and a snifter of brandy. You will feel warmed and as if you have tken a vacation in France without having to leave your house.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan 07
Thanks so much for this recipe. We grow leeks most years and it is much favored by my hubby. Also much appreciate the brandy suggestion!! We use leeks in alot of dishes while we have them, they just don't seem to last in our house!! Thanks alot again for this recipe!